Rochdale v Sunderland: TV coverage, form guide, team news and what the managers are saying

Sunderland travel to Rochdale tonight for another League One fixture as they look to build on Saturday's win over Portsmouth.

Tuesday, 20th August 2019, 09:37 am
Updated Tuesday, 20th August 2019, 09:41 am
Everything Sunderland fans need to know ahead of tonight's League One clash with Rochdale

Here, we take a look at what the Black Cats can expect.

What time is kick-off? Is the game on TV?

The match at Spotland kicks off at 7.45pm.

There is no live TV coverage, unlike Saturday when Sunderland beat Portsmouth 2-1 in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

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However, you can follow the game at www.sunderlandecho.com where we will provide live coverage in our matchday blog.

What’s the form coming into the game?

Sunderland and Rochdale have only faced each other three times in the Wearside club’s 140-year history.

The Black Cats boast two League One wins - both coming last season - and a 2016 Leasing.com Trophy draw over their weekend opponents.

Like Sunderland, Dale have enjoyed an unbeaten start to the season, taking the same amount of points - five - as Ross’ side.

Who is Rochdale’s danger man?

League One aficionados will know the name Ian Henderson well.

The 34-year-old ex-winger turned striker has scored 20, 13, 15, 13 and 22 League One goals in his last five campaigns.

Formerly of Norwich City, Henderson has got clever feet and is capable of the spectacular with his unique brand of lobbed finishes.

He also scored against Sunderland last season as Ross’ men came from behind to win 2-1 with an 89th minute George Honeyman equaliser.

And their weak links?

Brian Barry-Murphy’s defence is a fairly new mix of players with Rhys Norrington Davies on loan from Sheffield United and Tyler Magloire borrowed from Blackburn Rovers.

Stalwart Jim McNulty, 34, has been with the club since 2015 but is ageing and loanee goalkeeper Robert Sanchez can also get carried away which could be to Sunderland’s benefit.

What has Jack Ross been saying about Rochdale ahead of the game?

In his pre-match press conference, Ross said: “They’ve started this season well and have probably continued positive momentum from last year.

“Brian took the job in challenging circumstances, with the club in danger of falling out of the league, and he’s kept them up.

“He’s maybe flown under the radar slightly, in terms of him being a young manager doing his job well.

“They have a certain way of playing. They do try and play football, it’s a risk-reward for them but I do believe it’ll be a challenge going there tomorrow,” he concluded.